Image source: Quadram Facebook page, https://en-gb.facebook.com/QuadramInstitute/
The Hall lab from the Quadram Institute at NRP investigate the microbes in the human gut- the microbiota. The microbiota is all the microorganisms that live on or in the human body. Regions where these cluster include the gastrointestinal tract, eyes, mouth and skin to name a few.
The Hall lab hope to develop therapies to improve animal and human health. The main bacteria of interest in the group is Bifidobacterium. This bacterium is thought of as the Guardian of the gut. It plays a key role in digestion of food. What is special about these microbes is that they can communicate with the immune system through immune cells. Taking a dose of antibiotics can reduce the number of good bacteria in humans, to investigate this further the Hall lab are looking into the long and short-term consequences of using antibiotics, and how these can lead to increased disease risk, particularly digestive system diseases.
‘Guardians of the Gut’ at the Royal Society Summer Science exhibition
The Hall group exhibited the “Guardians of the Gut” at the Royal Society Summer Science exhibition earlier this month. The exhibition included a giant interactive gut and microbiota quizzes. Special guests included Prof. Brian Cox, who got to be the first visitor the Hall lab stand. Prof. Cox got a guided tour by Dr. Lindsay Hall through their gigantic, interactive, light up gut. The Royal Society Summer Science exhibition is an annual event aimed at celebrating the cutting edge of UK science. The event was hands-on and was free to enter. This year exhibits ranged from astrology looking at a billion stars in 3D to investigating nature’s innovations.
If you’re feeling disappointed you didn’t get to visit the exhibition please see below link to a youtube video, with a guided tour through the interactive gut exhibit
Meet Guardians of the Gut, A guided tour: https://bit.ly/2NAti5A
The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2018: https://bit.ly/2IpA77b
Read more about opportunities in Microbiome products in the GoBio report here